Like a lot of people today, I lost my job when the pandemic started. Before this even happened, I started getting symptoms that made it really difficult to do my job properly. I had just chalked it up to having put on weight.
I was in the midst of finishing up school and getting my Associates degree in Medical Specialties, so I took the down time as an opportunity rather that something I should have been a lot more concerned over. I figured that my savings (and credit cards unfortunately) would hold me over for a month while I focused on school, then I'd go job hunting and start working elsewhere without an issue. I did really well in school and graduated Cum Laude, but finding a job was a lot harder than I'd figured.
Five months of searching and applying and being rejected repeatedly, I was paying bills with the last of my credit cards (which was painful since I've spent the last 2+ years paying them down), I suddenly got hired on to two jobs. I was so excited! I was hoping that the past several months of increasingly worse migraines and body aches were just from my isolation and depression, etc. However, by the third hour into my first new job, I realized that I might have a problem.
I was sweating like someone in a cartoon. It was embarrassing enough that I was likely the oldest and largest (both tall and around) woman on staff. But now I was also dripping like a faucet trying to keep up with everyone else. Everyone kept asking me if I was alright, as I later found out my face was beet red for the last several hours of working.
I was in pain, but I kept pushing through, determined to be good at my job and get my body back in shape for the workplace. By the time I clocked out and got to my car, the nausea that had presented itself a few hours earlier backed off just enough to let me realize that the headache I had was swiftly becoming a migraine. I had a 35 minute drive home. I remember one point on the road where my vision went wonky and my head felt really strange, so much that I almost made myself pull over and call for help. But stubborn as I am, and the fact that there was no one else on the road anywhere in the miles I could see, I kept pushing on.
When I arrived home I went straight to bed, collapsing with the last strand of energy my body seemed to have.
I know I'm out of shape, but the amount of sick I felt was unbelievable. Especially when I think about the fact that I used to work 40-80 hour weeks all the time in my 20s. I remember the aches and pains from that, but this was something entirely in another category of bad. Even the 20-30 hour weeks I was working before the pandemic I had never felt this terrible.
I couldn't touch my feet to the floor--I was walking slowly and carefully on my toes and balls of my feet, as that was the least painful thing I could figure out. My clothing was soaked. All of it. Every stitch of everything I had on was drenched in sweat. My migraine was so bad that I couldn't open my eyes. The nausea so severe that I was certain I was going to ruin my 18 year record for not vomiting. My heart was pounding with my head. My chest and back ached like nothing else. I was in bed until the next day, except to pee.
When I got up the next morning, I was sore, but I can handle sore. Sore is part of life. I was determined to get back to work and train my body to get in the game. Alas, this shift was half the shift of the first day and I knew by the end of it that I couldn't go back. Luckily the guy that hired me told me I had a place there if I ever wanted to try again.
I wanted so much to take that offer up, but I just knew there was something more wrong with me than being out of shape. I went to the doctor.
My doctor was awesome and had me get a bunch of bloodwork done to see if they could figure it out or rule some stuff out. There were like 8 different tests I was drawn for and all of them came back normal. I was astonished. I stopped one of my medications and waited a couple of weeks. My sweating issue seemed to clear up for the most part, but everything else remained.
My vision had changed. I had gotten my eyes tested and was given a prescription that was different for each eye. They helped for a couple of weeks and then suddenly it seemed like my vision was getting worse. I just stopped wearing the glasses to see if it was them giving me more headaches. Didn't seem to help.
Finally, in the past few weeks, my doctor said she was stumped. She set me up for an MRI (non-contrast). I went in at 9pm. The techs said I'd have results in about a week. Then I got a phone call the next morning.
"We found something." Part of me was elated. Finally an answer! The other part of me was concerned. "Is this gonna kill me? Do I need to be making plans??" A grueling week later I was in with a neurosurgeon who says the tumor-like thing in my brain is "probably not" causing any of my problems. I got more blood taken and went home with a heavy heart.
I know the surgeon is more than likely well versed with MRI scan results, but isn't it true that we don't know half of what the brain can do? There's more we don't know about the brain than we do know. Could she be mistaken?
So when I was given a choice to just ignore it or take it out, I considered it for a long time. If it turns out to be what's wrong with me and I DON'T get it out, I'll never get better and I'll never know. But there's a chance, even if it's a small one, that getting it out could fix even one of my problems, I have to take that chance, because I cannot be a functioning adult the way things are right now.
So my number one concern right now is that I can continue to take care of my daughter. I have a job helping out an elderly gentleman, and that just barely covers my bills. I don't have any option to save any money to put away for when I can't work while recovering.
From what I've discovered it can take up to 8 weeks to recover from this surgery. My hope is that I can get enough money raised to cover our household until I'm well, and God willing I can go back to work and take that other job back too.
There are so many other aspects to my belief that this tumor is the cause for my problems. Aside for memory issues, migraines/headaches constantly, weird body symptoms, there's also the complete loss of interest in things I had been obsessed with for my entire life. I am a writer. I've self-published books. I've written on story websites for close to 25 years. Yet my desire and ability to focus on doing that anymore seems to have completely vanished in the past couple of years. It saddens me because I used to derive such joy out of it, since I was 13 years old!
Medicines that used to help me don't do anything anymore, and it's not because I used them too much. I'm talking about having a prescription for three years having just one bottle of 30 pain killers that entire time and only taking one when I can't bear the pain. Maybe once or twice a month tops. I had some tooth pain a few weeks back and took one of the pills and it did absolutely nothing at all, where it used to not only take away the pain but also put me into clean-house mode.
So yeah...I feel like this thing in my brain just might actually have something to do with my issues and I'd really like for it to be gone! Even if it fixes nothing, at least I don't have to live the rest of my life wondering if it might've helped to get it out.
I have basically written a book here, sorry... Any amount of help is much appreciated during this time. Thank you so much for reading my story. Please share <3
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